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1. Explain the processes involved in the development of products and services and the levels of customer integration.

2. Apply these processes in application to the development of a specific organisational product or service.

3. Assess the life-cycle stage of the products or services in a company’s portfolio.

4. Evaluate which appropriate product line management choices are required for individual products or services.

Explanation of the processes required for product and service development

Development is one of the most important steps before the launching of a product. This is because, through this step, the various factors involved in the nature of business as well as its management can be thoroughly understood and accessed. Along with this aspect, customer integration is considered an important factor because they are the most important stakeholders who would help in increasing the revenue of a company to its desired objective. As regarded by Osterwalder et al. (2014), the process of the development of products and services can mainly be divided into seven steps.

These processes are listed as follows:

  • Brainstorming product ideas

The first step is one of the most important steps as it considers the building of ideas for new products. These ideas are mostly based on market demands which would not only help customers but also increase sales rate of a company. According to Conner et al. (2014), the ultimate objective of every company which waves it path towards success is to aim towards customer satisfaction. Therefore, the product ideas should always be catered towards reaching this particular objective if a company wants its new product to be successful in the market.

  • Evaluation of ideas

The second step involves an analysis of all ideas according to the demand of the market and customers. However, in order to access which idea would be the best, active interaction with customers is a must. Through customer involvement, an organisation can understand which product will essentially be suitable the most for the market.     

  • Evaluation of market

Market analysis is one of the most important parts before launching of a product (Rodriguez, Peterson and Ajjan, 2015). In this step, the pros and cons of the chosen ideas are discussed. Through this assessment, the product which would bring in the most revenue can also be thoroughly accessed.

  • Analysis of the competitive situation

In this step, existing products are analysed in order to access the positive revenue the new product would generate from the perspective of business. Getting appropriate feedback is a critical step in this part where customers play a vital role. These feedbacks can be achieved by sending email surveys through which the demand for the new product can be accessed. Appropriate product cost along with marketing and promotional cost can also be accessed in this step.

  • Development of prototype and marketing

Launching a prototype before the complete product to a few customers can help in achieving a thorough idea which aspects need more improvement. These customers or bloggers can help in identifying the positive and negative aspects and thus help in the overall improvement of products for bringing in potential customers for the company in future. 

  • Market Testing

The seven steps of product and service development

According to the previous step, market testing is the next possible step before the launching of a new product. As regarded by Tyagi et al. (2015), launching of product in a few areas in a strategic step that should be taken to evaluate how well the new product is accessed by a larger population. Through this step, a company can access various factors such as price evaluation and effectiveness of the product before the official launch of the product. Customers play an important role in this aspect as through their aid, the company can make the most vital decision of launching a product after making the necessary changes.

  • Preparing for launching

Last but not the least step is preparing for the launch of a new product in the market. In order for this step to be successful, proper and organised production should be begun for the first launch. The previous six steps help in the careful evaluation of what aspects would be best for the development and launching of product for it to be successful in the market. According to He et al. (2014), this is where the role of customers comes to play as word-of-mouth promotion is one of the successful sources of spreading information. Through the aid of this step, more people can learn about the new product and in this way the company's revenue rate can also grow towards a positive direction.

It is of utmost importance to follow the seven steps involved in product development for its success after launching in the market. The company of Dyson Ltd has been chosen for this assessment which deals with various supplies such as vacuum cleaners, hair dryer and hand dryers among others (dyson.co.uk, 2018). In order to access the application of the seven steps, The Dyson Cyclone V10 cordless stick vacuum cleaner has been selected as the specific product.

Vacuum cleaners are one of the essential needs which are needed in everyday life and therefore are a product which is in constant demand in the market. Vacuum cleaners help in purifying the air by keeping dirt and dust at bay. The company of Dyson already deals with electronic products and one of its main products consists of vacuum cleaners. However, there are plenty of different types of vacuum cleaners available on the market. Therefore, careful assessment of the market followed by innovation is the key to success for the company of Dyson. This concludes the first step among the seven which includes brainstorming of ideas. As per the view of Tsinopoulos and Mena (2015), assessment of product ideas from existing one gives a clear vision of what can be improved among the already existing ones. Therefore, through the process of thorough evaluation, the company of Dyson decided to launch a completely new product among its range of vacuum cleaners known as The Dyson Cyclone V10 cordless stick vacuum cleaner. This step was put into action after a thorough evaluation of different types of assessment of which vacuum would be the most suitable for its potential customers.

Application of processes for the development of a specific organizational product or service

According to the third step, market evaluation is one of the most important processes in the development of products before its launch in the market. Some of the successful vacuums already sold by Dyson include cordless stick vacuums, upright and handheld vacuum followed by cylindrical and robot vacuums (dyson.co.uk, 2018). Therefore, in order to create an impactful name in the market, Dyson launched its full-size cordless suction vacuum cleaner. However, in order for the product to be successful in the market, the company needs to launch a prototype so that it can gain useful feedback about the new product. This step is very important because this model of vacuum cleaner is completely new and its bin has 40% more capacity of collecting dust in comparison to its previous models (dyson.co.uk, 2018). Therefore, innovation can be termed as the ultimate key factor through which the company of Dyson have been able to make creative and new products.

Through the aid of proper feedback from customers, the company of Dyson can make an effective change to the new product so that it can be even more useful to the customers. As asserted by Elvers and Song (2016), customer feedbacks are of the most efficient methods considered in the development of new products or services. Through the aid of appropriate marketing, the company can spread its information to the mass so that everybody can learn about it. This also helps in the assessment of target customers through which ideal marketing ideas can be developed. However, before the launching of the final product in the market, it is important for Dyson to test it before pre-launch. This can be done by testing the product with a small audience base and getting their valuable feedback. Getting these feedbacks would not only help the company to produce better results but also improve their product before the final launch in the global market.

It can be asserted that market testing is one of the most effective procedure through which the launch of the final product can deem as effective. As regarded by Bosch?Sijtsema and Bosch (2015), evaluation of future sales can be estimated through the market for market testing. The present marketing method can also be tested in this process and thus, more effective can be integrated when launching the product in the global market. Thus, the company of Dyson would be able to experience a profit in revenue percentage by launching by their innovative and new vacuum cleaner.

Dyson Cyclone V10 cordless stick vacuum cleaner

It can be asserted that every product has their individual lifespan. There are a total of five stages that a product goes through from the introduction of its idea till the stage where the sales rate has started to decrease indicating the declination of the product. These life stage stages help in the assessment of sales rate and how they can be developed for enhancing future growth.

Figure 2: Stages of product life-cycle

(Source: nibusinessinfo.co.uk, 2018)

The five stages in the life-cycle of a product have been listed as follows: 

  • Introduction Stage

The first stage initially consists of research and development before the product is launched in the market. A thorough assessment of the ideas is conducted which helps in the formation of the idea into an effective product. As opined by Hellweg and Canals (2014), the first step includes analysis of the types of products which are in demand. According to this assessment, new products are developed and launched in the market. The introduction stage consists of lead time that is required for marketing strategies to start being effective. One of the downsides of launching a new product is that until it gets properly publicised, the sales rate would be very low (Iritani et al. 2015). Therefore, the company of Dyson is needed to place advertisements at various social networking sites along with newspapers and magazines so that a variety of people can get to know about it.

This step especially focuses on using innovation to utilise its full production capacity by analysis of target customers. Thus, through the aid of appropriate advertisements, Dyson can launch its Cyclone V10 cordless stick vacuum cleaner in a successful manner. This company can use effective strategies such as price skimming as well as price penetration to gain publicity in the market for its effective launch. The process of price skimming includes charging a high price for a product, then selling at a gradual low scale according to the target audience (Stark, 2015). However, the process of price penetration can be considered quite the opposite. It includes setting the price level of a product at a low cost during its introduction in the market, then gradually increasing it. Anyone of the two strategies can be utilised by Dyson in order to ensure the company earns enough revenue for the product to be a success.

  • Growth Stage

The growth stage is considered the second stage in the process of product life cycle. This stage is true for a product when it meets the demands of the existing market. As per the view of Devroey et al. (2017), sales usually take off during the growth stage. This point is known as take-off point where profits are counted through the generation of the sales revenue. However, this aspect is not only limited to the growth of the company who is introducing the new product. All competitors come up with effective counter-measures in order to respond to this new product and thus it contributes to the growth of the whole market. Through the implementation of the adequate advertisement and pricing strategy, the company of Dyson would be able to enter this stage. However, in order to keep its new and innovative vacuum cleaner at the top of the market, it needs to effectively utilise appropriate strategy so that it can maintain its position in the market.

  • Maturity Stage

The importance of customer feedback in the development of new products or services

A product enters a maturity stage when the revenue rate of the product slows down. This stage can have a negative effect on companies if they are unable to integrate adequate strategies to counter-produce this method. Therefore, in this stage, the strategy of price reduction is actively used to attract a variety of customers. The aspect of competition intensifies to a much bigger scale when the product enters this phase because it provides a platform for other rivals to take an opportunity to attract customers towards themselves (Oster et al. 2016). Therefore, the company of Dyson needs to upgrade its strategy in order to keep its customers from drifting to other sellers. This aspect can be implemented by providing special discounts by Dyson so that people can turn back towards the products sold by it. In this case, the vacuum cleaners would gain fresh attention with the integration of the pricing strategy which will essentially help in increasing its revenue.

  • Saturation Stage

The saturation stage falls somewhat between the maturity stage and the decline stage. In this stage the growth of the product can be essentially stated as declining, that is no significant amount of sales growth is occurring at this stage. This stage usually determines the future of the product and mostly consists of replacement demand. As asserted by Cerutti et al. (2014), the concept of replacement demand is an important concept that can be utilised to meet future demand. Therefore, the company of Dyson can build a new product in accordance with the present demands of the market. This will assure the company to inherit positive revenues which would benefit the company. The company can also integrate new features to make the vacuum clear more innovative to suit the demands of its customers.

  • Decline Stage

The decline stage is considered to be the last stage in the product life-cycle stage. In this stage, the decline in the sales volume is effectively noticeable along with overtakes of competitions in the market. As forwarded by Pereira et al. (2017), price-elasticity of demand and promotional elasticity needs to be constant for a product to stay at the top of the market. However, in the decline stage, this aspect cannot be maintained at a steady scale. Factors including continues change in the product as well as distribution cost affects the overall revenue rate. Strategies such as milking or harvesting can be implemented to increase the life of the product. Or the company can also integrate or selling or contracting out to retain its loyal users. Therefore, it is important for the company of Dyson to implement one of these new strategies. However, the company can also use its innovation to create a new and better product, therefore resulting in a new product line.

Market analysis and target customers

The aspect of product line management can be stated as a form of administrative management through which products can be thoroughly managed. As regarded by Rocha et al. (2015), line management can be defined as a chain structure of management in a corporate setting. In a company, it can be stated as a chain at the top of which is the CEO followed by the board of directors. This aspect is pretty much the same when it comes to products or service management. It is a strategic scheme through which the operations of a company can be effectively managed to reach particular objectives. In the company of Dyson, a programming scheme is needed to be the main focus in order to cover all paradigms of the organisations. For example, Dyson Cyclone V10 cordless stick vacuum cleaner is a great example of a product line that is sold by the company along with other types of vacuum cleaners. Various companies along with Dyson implement this strategic management in order to attract a variety of customers in order to increase its revenue rate.

Product line management can thus, be asserted as an effective marketing strategy through which it makes its presence well known in the market. According to Kerzner and Kerzner (2017), a product line which is already well established in the market when launches a new product under the same brand but with a low price, it usually becomes successful. Therefore, the company of Dyson can effectively use this strategy as it already has quite a few ranges of vacuum cleaners under its belt. The new vacuum cleaner known as Dyson Cyclone V10 cordless stick has a lot of additional features as compared to its previous models. Along with that its price range is within an affordable range which can help in gaining the attention of various new customers. The company of Dyson essentially uses the aspect of innovation for improvising on the old models of vacuum cleaner in the company to come with a completely new idea. Implementation of this idea would provide adequate help in increasing its sales rate in the global market that would help the company to rise towards the positive direction.

Product line management provides diversification of the market in various regions and socioeconomic groups (Wright and Pujari, 2017). The company of Dyson is not limited to the products of the vacuum cleaner. It actually invests in quite a lot of other electronic gadgets such as heaters, fans and even humidifiers. Therefore, it already has a name in the market and has been properly established since the early 90s. This aspect plays a vital and a strategic role in the market as the launching of a new product in the same line would bring it to the immediate attention of its existing customers who have a positive experience with the company. The products would not be limited to only the existing customers but also reach out towards new and potential customers as well. Therefore, the importance of product line management can be effectively understood in this aspect as it helps inadequate diversification of the product and accordingly helps the company rise in the market.

References

Bosch?Sijtsema, P. and Bosch, J., 2015. User involvement throughout the innovation process in high?tech industries. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 32(5), pp.793-807.

Cerutti, A.K., Beccaro, G.L., Bruun, S., Bosco, S., Donno, D., Notarnicola, B. and Bounous, G., 2014. Life cycle assessment application in the fruit sector: state of the art and recommendations for environmental declarations of fruit products. Journal of cleaner production, 73(2), pp.125-135.

Conner, B.P., Manogharan, G.P., Martof, A.N., Rodomsky, L.M., Rodomsky, C.M., Jordan, D.C. and Limperos, J.W., 2014. Making sense of 3-D printing: Creating a map of additive manufacturing products and services. Additive Manufacturing, 1(1), pp.64-76.

Devroey, X., Perrouin, G., Cordy, M., Samih, H., Legay, A., Schobbens, P.Y. and Heymans, P., 2017. Statistical prioritization for software product line testing: an experience report. Software & Systems Modeling, 16(1), pp.153-171.

dyson.co.uk, 2018, Contact Us, Available at: https://www.dyson.co.uk/footer-primary-links/contact-us.html [Accessed on: 26-10-2018]

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Elvers, D. and Song, C.H., 2016. Conceptualizing a framework for customer integration during new product development of chemical companies. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 31(4), pp.488-497.

He, Y., Lai, K.K., Sun, H. and Chen, Y., 2014. The impact of supplier integration on customer integration and new product performance: the mediating role of manufacturing flexibility under trust theory. International Journal of Production Economics, 147(2), pp.260-270.

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Wright, G. and Pujari, D., 2017. Management of Environmental New Product Development. In Greener Marketing, 3(2), pp.109-125.

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